Am I doing it wrong? Questions from a newbie...
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Thread: Am I doing it wrong? Questions from a newbie...

  1. #1

    Am I doing it wrong? Questions from a newbie...

    Hi All,

    Wife and I took a pistol safety course 7 months back and applied for our CCW permits a few weeks ago. I am not interested in guns by any means but I AM interested in the protection they provide. A few months back, the wife and I began to consider carrying. We prayed about it a good bit, talked about it a good bit, and read as many back-issues of Concealed Carry Magazine as we could mooch from a friend (we've since subscribed). We've spent time learning and discussing the realities of carrying and of having handguns in the house (we have 2 very little kids) and what it might mean should we have to use them (legally, morally, spiritually).

    I have a 1911 that I'm sentimentally attached to (and an M1 Garand incidentally - I came to firearms by way of military history) and since its what I have, I plan to carry it now with plans to get something else as soon as budget permits. I plan to have a IWB Cleveland Holster ordered in a week or two. We're looking for a small practical and concealable pistol for the wife (approaching from the standpoint of "it won't do her any good if she doesn't carry it and can't conceal it") and have narrowed it down to a couple choices.

    I hope to secure some additional training for us both in the coming months - in the meantime, we'll do dry-fire drills, get some additional range time (we've been a couple times with my 45 in the last month or two), and spend some time with some instructional DVDs (the same friend has lent us some stuff from Gabe Suarez that looks pretty good).

    All that said, what are we forgetting? Or, as the title says, are we doing it wrong? I don't want to split hairs over which weapon to carry or which holster to buy but I'd love some feedback from those who carry and how our "journey" looks so far as compared to theirs. At what point do I begin being an active carry-er as opposed to being the arm-chair carry-er (which is what I am right now)?

    Thanks in advance!

  3. #2
    She needs to shoot different small handguns and decide which she likes. Look for a range that rents guns. If it is small and she doesn't like it, she still won't carry.
    “Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.
    But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” ― Steven Weinberg

  4. #3
    Congratulations on your decisions. It seems to me that you are taking logical, well thought out steps. I applaud you for that.

    One thing that you should do is to concentrate on your situational awareness. Start now. Don't wait till you start to carry. Be aware of who is behind you. What direction is that person going? Where is the nearest and most accessible exit? How many people are around my wife and I? If I have to use a weapon in my current location, what is behind my possible target(s)? The more you develop your SA now, the better off you'll be if you do have to potentially deploy your weapon. SA is a skill that is seriously lacking in most people. You don't have to be armed to develop it.

  5. #4
    Thanks. She has tried a couple already and narrowed it done to a couple. She wants to go back and shoot those again just to be sure. She loves my 1911 (and outshoots me without any effort) and said that if she could hide it, she'd carry it. I love this woman!

  6. #5
    Its funny you mention that. When we started considering this whole endeavor, we started playing the SA game. We ask each other those same questions when we are out together. "Where's the best place to park in this lot?" "Where could a bad guy be here?" "How do I get out of here quickly?" While we don't always have the best answers, we're becoming much more aware of what we don't know. Now... if we could just get Masad Ayood to shadow us for a few weeks and whisper in our ears, we'd be golden!

  7. #6
    It appears that you are attacking the subject in a manner to leave no stone unturned. This is NOT a bad thing and will expose you to a lot of information that will help you with this journey.
    If I could make a suggestion it would be for you to relax and try enjoying the journey, it doesn't have to be all tedious and tenuous. You will find that the participants of the forum have a special kind of affection towards their weapons and enjoy the sport of shooting and what it brings to their lives beyond just a protection value.
    Your path is to gain knowledge and becoming proficient with you firearms and you are doing a lot towards that end. The steps you have taken are admirable and beyond what most have done prior to actually carrying to become competent, as to when you should be an active carrier is in your hands. Once you are equipped and feel ready, you will need to take the next step of doing it.
    Welcome to the forum and your epiphany to carry. God Bless
    Last edited by dogshawred; 08-12-2013 at 12:15 PM. Reason: phrasing
    I'd rather be a Conservative Nutjob. Than a Liberal with NO Nuts & NO Job

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    The Lowcountry of South Carolina
    I'd say finding your wife a gun she's comfortable with would be the sticking point. If she must have "smaller" than your .45 she must also realise that lighter weapons will in general produce more "kick" that a larger gun chambered for the same caliber round. If she likes your 1911 and has no trouble racking the slide, that doesn't mean she'll have the same success with a pocket pistol since there's less to grab hold to. Some women I have talked to prefer a revolver because you don't have to rack the slide, and one said she had "several" speed loaders ready to go in her purse (I believe they are called "moonclips")
    Like XD40 said, have her try out guns before you committ.

  9. #8
    Good points Dog. I experienced the same wave of information overload when I start riding motorcycles. I had a coworker that started riding with me and we both got some training together. One day we were riding in the car and we were talking about SA as it applied to riding a motorcycle as we came up on a pretty big and complicated intersection. He looked at me and said, "With all this crap to keep track of, when does riding actually become fun?"

    He made a good point. In the end, once those safe and proficient riding techniques became "muscle memory" it didn't require so much "front of the brain" attention. I assume that the same happens with firearms and carrying. You don't sit there and dwell on things, weighing the pros and cons all the time. You just do it second nature. Right now its just all so new and there is SO much info out there (some useful but lots not) that the point of this post was kind of a "stand back and get my bearings" kind of thing.

    Glad that we're not off-base here. And we ARE enjoying the ride as it were! Thanks again.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Colorado Rocky Mountain High
    Quote Originally Posted by gunobody View Post
    Thanks. She has tried a couple already and narrowed it done to a couple. She wants to go back and shoot those again just to be sure. She loves my 1911 (and outshoots me without any effort) and said that if she could hide it, she'd carry it. I love this woman!
    Perhaps she could try a smaller 1911 style pistol
    See, it's mumbo jumbo like that and skinny little lizards like you thinking they the last dragon that gives Kung Fu a bad name. Internet forum dedicated to second amendment

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I applaud you for the steps you have taken since deciding to carry. You have been well thought out, well read, and logical.

    I echo some other posters: SA can be a fun training exercise with your wife when you are out and about; don't always make firearms a tedious and arduous task, it can be quite enjoyable; always shoot a firearm first before buying if at all possible.

    With that said, since she likes your 1911, she may love the Sig Sauer P238. It's a .380 in a 1911 style frame that is smaller. Loads 6+1 and an extended mag can be had for 7+1.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

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